I took a break from working on the simulator and added a 15 year version of Classic. I like the direction this version is heading and expect that, after tuning,
I will add a 10 year version as well. For the next couple of weeks I'll be focused on tuning all of the software on the site including
working on getting the simulator to a beta state.
I have just updated the simulator with new features that support refinancing loans (available from the property screen - a button will become
available if your current loan on that property has a higher rate than currently available). Refinancing costs 1% of your outstanding mortgage principal.
The other feature I have added with this update gives you control over property taxes, insurance and repair bills being auto-paid. Go to the portfolio screen
to control whether auto-pay is on or off. If on and you don't have the funds available then you are still presented with a dialog box.
Hi all, I recently received a very comprehensive simulator bug list - this update addresses those issues.
Mtg rate was being set when house went on market, not on entering escrow as it now is.
The sim was blocking owners from evicting a tenant unless it was for renovation purposes - you can now evict without cause.
When selling a property the value is now reset to current market value.
Line of credit is not fully implemented yet, have removed it from the display.
Tenants now pay rent on moving in - I am thinking about how to handle security deposits.
I've tweaked the simulator in two ways:
Renter history distribution used to be evenly distributed 50/50 between unknown history (50%), and 50% one of the following poor, fair and good. Now 25% have an unknown history, of the remaining 75% they are distributed as 20% excellent history, 60% fair history and 20% poor history.
Renters now leave significantly less often from rentals that are in good repair.
I've also added the ability to pass a quarter of a year and a whole year. In all cases time passage will stop if you need to deal with a dialog. This provides
an easier way to get through those times when you need to collect rent for a few years before you can make any more investments.
I've just updated the simulator. There is now a portfolio button which takes you to a scrolling list of all properties you own as well as including
more information about your finances.
You now have a credit score which is affected by paying your bills, your financial history, debts not fulfilled on time and your debt to equity ratio.
Your credit score gives you a rating which now affects the amount of down payment you will be required to make on future loans and what mortgage rate you will
The last couple of additions are that days to renovate or upgrade now properly account for condition and size of property and
when in house view any property that you own requiring repairs will display a hammer icon superimposed on that house's icon.
I've just updated the simulator to add a listings view of the market. This features gives you a sorted, scrollable list of the market with the ability to sort by price, rent and flip profitability.
You can access listings from the control panel in the upper left hand corner of the main game screen by clicking on the the "Listings" button.
Simulator update this afternoon, more tweaking and debugging and the addition of rental repairs! As requested I've also bumped to fifteen years with the long term goal of bumping again to twenty or twenty-five when
the software is closer to done.
Next update will include more tuning and debugging as well as a new listings view that will allow sorting by cost, affordability, rental profitability and flip potential.
Small update to the simulator to fix some bugs and improve the usability of the town screen map. Also I have added good faith deposits to the escrow process.
It looks like Friday's upload has caused the games to fail for some players. I was not able to replicate the bug here but a fix I applied late yesterday
has resolved the problem for somebody who was experiencing the bug. Thanks to everybody who reported the problem, it's helpful in cases like this where
the games work fine when I test them. As a one man band I don't have testing resources other than myself so bug reports are much appreciated!
Two bugs have been dealt with in the past 12 hours or so. The crash bug that some people were seeing when starting Classic should be resolved (I
was never able to reproduce it but I'm pretty sure I know what was going on there) and a minor between levels score board issue, also in Classic, has
A big update today, mostly to the simulator.
In general news I've streamlined the start up sequence so you never enter an email address. I've removed Loot Reward Coins which have been more trouble
than the lost productivity from supporting them is worth. Also, I've reduced the on screen ad space for all titles by 50% leaving more room in all the
games for game play.
The simulator is now alpha - there are bugs and more features are still coming but it's getting there. I will be trying to finish up the remaining
features in the coming weeks before I settle into a period of tuning the simulator as well as all of the other games. I've also added a top ten high
score baord for the simulator like the other games have.
Sorry about the recently created high scores bug. It should be fixed now, more to come soon!
The simulator has been updated - some front end work to make the town screen easier to 'read' and mortgage rates now update every three months.
Player properties are displayed as green houses, a red surrounding circle is added if the property is rented. All other properties on the market
are represented by pins with the same color coding as before, ie. red for a property being offered below market value, blue for above and grey if
the player can't afford the down payment.
Another simulator update. Just a reminder that the simulator is pre-alpha, feature incomplete software! I'm making updates publicly available for those folks who are following progress and may want to talk about how the software is being shaped.
As of this update renters now apply to rent after the player takes occupancy and come in four flavors, poor, fair, good and unknown rental history. Tenants will leave - sometimes without paying rent and will also now occassionally do damage to
their rental properties.
I've also added a floating dialog that will pop-up and give you a thumbnail sketch of details about the property, more details provided if you click on the property and go to the property details screen. On the property details screen you can buy the property or, if you already own it, sell or renovate the property. Soon you will
have to evict tenants before you can make renovations (eviction will take two months during which time the player will not collect rent). The simulator
time length has been set to ten years and starting cash is $40K.
Simulator update today! Buying, selling, upgrading and renovating properties are all now timed events. When a property is being worked on
or is in escrow then a small sign will appear below the property on the city screen.
The end month button has been replaced with pass day and pass time buttons. Pass day does what you would expect it to, ie. moves forward to the next day in the calendar. Pass time will move forward in the calendar until something interesting happens (currently closing escrow on the buying or selling of a property).
Pass time will also stop when reaching the first day of a new month. You now start with $100K in initial funds and time has been extended from 5 to 10 years.
I've just uploaded some updates to Houseflip. The game is snappier on the iPad now and switches to a simplified info bar at the top of the main game screen when on mobile.
The score formatting bug has been fixed as has the
incorrect profit value on houses that are getting set to row rotate. Lastly the end of game bonus for left over actions has been bumped up to 100K per left-over action at game end.
Earlier this year I pulled down the first playable version of the simular because it presented a wall of indecipherable data. I've figured out a new approach and today I'm releasing a very early new version. Most of you should not play this version!
If you are very interested in the simulator then please give it a look and give me feedback on the FB page. There's a ton of work still to be done, right now I'm interested in UI feedback as I code up and roll out more features. Thanks to all of you for coming to my site and playing my games.
Houseflip has been updated with cleaned up sound effects, score starts at 0 (instead of 200K) and a mouse-over bug has been fixed so that sale actions are properly reported.
I've just updated Deck to play better on mobile along with some cosmetic and audio tuning mods.
A small update tonight to Classic to fix a display issue with foreclosure signs and to ensure that they always get a sound effect (darn browsers!).
I've updated Houseflip tonight.
"Get Cash" only works once per neighborhood. You can think of this game element as a short-term, expensive business loan.
Clicking on a house image on the main screen now works the same as clicking on the buy button, mainly to improve mobile/tablet play.
Some cosmetic issues were cleaned up. As always, if you see any bugs please let me know!
Happy Halloween all!
This update include changes to Classic to
make the contractor and property manager classes more competitive and some display issues have also been fixed.
A few updates to Classic today.
Fixed minor display issues.
All professions now start with $500K.
Fixed end of month bug.
Added buy & sell amounts to their respective buttons.
There was a bug that prevented some folks from logging on this week which has been fixed.
Houseflip: At the end of a month any row that has an empty house in the right hand side column will be rotated before
any others are considered (starting from the top row).
Houseflip: Trailer rents have been bumped by 2K per month.
Houseflip: Minor display issues for some browser sizes have been fixed.
A few updates to Houseflip today:
End of game bonus has been boosted to 250K per remaining action.
I'm finding the "actions for cash" mechanic to be too powerful so I've toned it down a bit. Actions cost has been doubled from 5 to 10. Bonus cash payouts are now $20K, $50K, $100K and the escalating bonus for the final neighborhood has been boosted 20% (remember it now costs 10 instead of 5 actions).
When multiple neighborhoods are unlocked and have houses remaining then the lowest priced neighborhoods are now more likely to be the one that has a house rotated off the market - this is important if you are hoping that a higher priced house on the market might remain available just one more turn!
A few small display updates to Deck today. The ochre and orange cards are now higher contrast, small hand size maxes out at 5 instead of 7 so that you don't get
a nearly hidden card on the LHS of your hand on some display sizes and scroll bars will no longer obscure display after window resize.
I've uploaded new versions of Classic and Houseflip today. Mostly back end stuff that will cause the game to be easier to maintain and to load faster but you will notice a little bit of cleaning up here and there!
If you find bugs please let me know via the FB page.
For the next few weeks I expect to be playing the games quite a bit to further tune them and to clean up any bugs I can find.
Been a bit of a breather between updates - what can I say, it's summer time and the golf course has been calling...
Anyhow, new changes to Houseflip today are that I've dropped Adsense because it was creating graphic and sound effect
timing issues. I fixed the end of game score bug and lastly made a big update to the main game screen display putting the
portfolio at the top of the main game screen.
I've just uploaded some more tuning changes to Houseflip:
Trading actions for cash has been tuned so that it now only costs 5 actions instead of 10, the 3rd neighborhood open unlocks a flat bonus of 75K and the high end action bonus has been tuned down so your end score bonus isn't penalized as much for having spent actions for cash earlier in the game.
The large house (purple) now pays more rent.
Hotels are more expensive to buy and go up more in value when renovated.
More "easter egg" action bonuses have been added!
Added a 20 action bonus for score of 35M.
Neighborhoods now unlock on 200K, 900K and 4.5M.
Trailers never appear in the second neighborhood anymore.
There have been some requests for more information on how to play Houseflip. To address this I've just posted a play and strategy guide - here's the link:
I'm still tuning the game but at some point I'll stop and then I'll make a video as well.
Hi all, I've just uploaded a big set of changes to Classic. Why? Primarily to
increase the number of moment to moment game play choices that are on offer at
any given point in the game. Also, with this update, I believe the contractor and realtor professions are now
more or less competitive with property manager.
What has changed?
1. Bank owned properties decay/reduce condition faster.
2. Gentrification bonuses have been bumped up.
3. Less rent on all properties to make you have to think more about flipping properties.
4. Transactions are now faster - buying now takes 20 days and selling takes 10 days (10 & 5 if you are a realtor/own a realty).
5. Contractor reno discount is now 15%.
6. Realtor now starts with $400K.
7. Downtown business's are more expensive to buy but have reduced upgrade costs.
8. Bank bug has been fixed (face red over here...), owning the bank, in top condition, now pays 5% per turn on any cash on hand.
9. Reno project times are now based upon house type. trailer = 15 days, small house = 20, medium house = 25, large house = 30,
apartments and hotels = 60 and all others take 30. 45% less for an upgrade and contractors reduce their time by 20%.
10. Pumped up hotel earnings and probably a half dozen other properties got nudged in the fray.
That's it - hope you enjoy the new version!
Hi all, the server folks have informed me that the server will go down for 5-10 minutes somewhere between 4 AM CST and 9:00 AM CST.
My apologies if this
affects a game in progress. If this does affect you then you should be able to get back into your game
by refreshing your browser as soon as the server comes back online.
I've updated Deck with new sound effects!
A small update tonight to Houseflip to deal with an iOS browser display issue, the game should work better on those devices now.
The high score board reset issue has been fixed. I've just uploaded the following changes to Houseflip:
Fixed rounding error that would occasionally result in displayed house price matching cash on hand and not allowing purchase.
Changed starting cash from 150K to 200K.
Bumped 1st hood bonus from 10K to 15K, 2nd hood bonus from 25 to 35K.
Decreased trailer renovation costs.
Increased medium sized house property values and rents.
Increased large house reno costs.
Decreased apartment rents.
Increased hotel property values and reno costs.
Something is triggering a high score board reset a few hours into the day. Seems like it should be a simple issue but it's more complicated - I'm working on it with my dedicated server supplier and hope to have it resolved soon.
My apologies to all of the early birds who have had high scores wiped out in the wee hours of the day.
Today Houseflip's update includes:
Reduced cash bonus from turning in actions when neighborhoods 3&4 are open.
End game accumulates all left over actions and awards a score bonus for them.
Renovation profit calculation has been fixed to reflect current market. Note, all property profitibility calculations
are based upon current market.
Another Houseflip update today:
You can now cash in 10 actions for an escalating amount of cash as follows, neighborhood one unlocked, 10K,
neighborhood two unlocked, 25K, thereafter the cash reward escalates every month with another boost when neighborhood
four is unlocked!
Fixed minor graphic and sound effect bugs.
Game no longer removes a house in a month when a new neighborhood is unlocked.
I have made a number of game play tweaks to Houseflip over the past two weeks and, more importantly, fixed the show-stopper bugs which had crept into the code base.
In the near term I'll be concentrating on polishing Houseflip and a bigger update to Classic which will dramatically increase the number of game play decision points through out the game.
Today's update adds trailers to Classic as well as a boost to contractors and realtors to make those professions more competitive with property managers.
The signin sequence has been streamlined a little - if you are returning the game takes you from the landing page directly to the game selection page. The game selection page now
also includes a daily achievements list so you can check your standings after every game.
Speaking of the daily achievements, I've tuned up your achievements received from Classic and Houseflip so that they are both now based upon your high score ranking.
After a lot of thought I've taken down the simulator. The current incarnation of that piece of software isn't any fun at all and I think I can do better. Never fear! The simulator will return when I have settled on a new design.
A few of you have sent in bug reports this past week which I appreciate. Over the next few days I'll be addressing bugs and working on a smallish update to Classic that will, among other tweaks, give the contractor and real estate player classes a boost so they compete better with property managers.
A new version of Houseflip has been uploaded that now includes trailers!
A small Houseflip update this morning to tighten up animation and sound effects timings to make the game a bit snappier.
Houseflip has been updated with animations and sound effects that help clarify game play including notifications when properties are reduced in price!
The games are back online.
I've taken the games down for a day while I resolve a security bug that might expose a players email to another player. I take your security and trust seriously and will resolve the problem ASAP.
Sorry for the inconvenience, the games will be back soon!
A new version of HouseFlip is now on the site!
The big, big change is that you now only have one stated goal at a time. I was finding that even as the author of the game I couldn't remember what all of
my goals were so I wanted a single, on-screen, stated goal at all times.
Neighborhood unlocks are now handled by hitting rent collection goals. These are
cumulative and you can check them at any time by mousing over a lock. Many of the old action goals have been left in the game and are now hidden bonuses!
The New Rules!
You now start with 50 actions and get more by hitting the on screen stated goal, unlocking new neighborhoods and finding bonus actions!
Sounds easy hunh... you'll see!
Buying now takes 5 actions.
Upgrades take 1 action per condition of upgrade, ie. upgrade a property from 1 star to 5 stars takes 4 actions.
Selling takes 1 action.
There have been some other tweaks to rent and upgrade values as well as some cosmetic updates to play the game better but I'll let you find those for yourselves!
The new update is up!
The daily achievements board now resets at noon PST of each day instead of midnight.
All of the updates were to Classic this time around and are as follows:
I have dropped property manager and realtor score bonuses and am working towards all of the professions being equally capable of posting high scores. Scores are now equal to equity.
Realtors now receive a 6% increase in sale price when selling, close escrow in 10 days instead of 30 and get a 5% rent bonus.
Contractors reduce their upgrade and reno costs by 30% and drop 2 days off upgrade and renovation projects.
Property managers get a 25% rental income increase.
Upgrading property takes 18 not 20 days while a full reno still takes 30.
A full reno is now a little more expensive relative to an upgrade costing 92% of the cost of an upgrade rather than the old 85%.
Just a quick heads up that I will be updating the game tomorrow morning and resetting the daily high score board at that point, sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
Lots of fun new changes to Classic on the way!
New versions of all of the games have just been uploaded.
A lot of this update is back end work to make the games more reliable but... here's the fun stuff!
A cleaner startup sequence that skips the high score screens in lieu of putting them directly in the game selection screen.
HouseFlip! fixed high scores bug along with more game tuning. I hope you all enjoy the direction that game is heading in!
Classic, upgraded the WIP version to be the only version of the game and upgraded construction and realtor professions to be more competitive with the property manager which had been taking a lot of the high score board honors!
Deck displays back of card in confirmation dialog when taking top of deck card, added a high score board along with LRC rewards for high score board placement!
I've just uploaded a new version of Houseflip! with a big, big update! The game has the same basic premise - gain equity to score higher and actions to play longer -
but it's played almost entirely on a single screen and there is no longer a game timer. I think you'll find the game to be much more streamlined and easier to understand at a glance.
Houses now move from left to right through each neighborhood, one unlocked neighborhood randomly losing a
house from the RHS column at the end of each month. Cold and fair markets are more likely to have houses drop in value as they remain on the market.
The game ends when all houses are gone or when you run out of actions. I hope you like the new version of the game as much as I do!
A first playable demo of the simulator is now available! There is also a road map that shows new features I have planned. The current version only lasts for twelve months but I expect to release a new version with more features soon that will last the full 30 years that the simulator is planned to take place over.
The demo is based, very roughly, on the Waco real estate market. Neighborhood names have been used but not actual street names or properties. I plan to support more North American real estate markets in the future.
I make no warranty or guarantees about the fitness of this software to predict real world investment outcomes!
Quick update about the simulator which I'm hoping to release in a first playable format by month end!
Currently I've been looking for a market to locate the first version of the simulator in. My ideal has affordable housing, good rental demand and
price points that make well considered fixing and re-selling a viable option for a real estate investor.
Currently I'm considering Waco, Texas because it's an affordable market with upside and plenty of houses that can be fixed and flipped. If you are thinking that I
would not have chosen Waco before Chip and Joanna Gaines started fixing houses there... you'd be correct!
Other markets I looked at and passed over? Santa Cruz, CA. A beautiful beach town, a bedroom community for Silicon Valley and... rents that are far below mortgages.
Santa Cruz may continue to offer investment opportunities but it doesn't cover all the bases that I'm looking for in terms of investor options.
Also in consideration has been Nashville, TN where it appears that every single house has already been bought and renovated!
While I'm sure that's not entirely true I looked at twenty houses between Hope Gardens and Sylvan Park and... they were all newly renovated!
I've just updated Houseflip and Classic (WIP), some bug fixes, lots of tuning, especially to Houseflip. Classic WIP should now yield higher scores than the original version.
Houseflip is back online.
Another tuning update to Classic (WIP).
I've just uploaded a new Work In Progress (WIP) version of Classic, lots of changes to hopefully give you more to think about over the course of the 60 months of game play!
Classic is back online.
A sizeable technology update which should be followed by faster game polishing and improvement through the end of October. The site no longer stores cookies!
House Flip! has had some minor tuning for tension. You can no longer have more than 5 actions at a time, yellow neighborhood stops adding listings after 12 months and red after 24.
Loot Reward will go down for a little while in the next 24 hours as we migrate to the new server. All coins have already been moved!.
Small update to House Flip tonight which adds unlockable neighborhoods based upon scoring goals and some additional tweaking and polishing.
Things have been quiet here on the news front but that doesn't mean I haven't
The Start button link will now take you (temporarily) to the Rusty Axe site as this
site is migrated to a new and hopefully more stable dedicated server!
Also, there's a new game! House Flip! is available to try as a first playable and features
a fun new board gamey kind of play mechanic where you have limited actions. Play well, get more
actions and build an equity based high score!
The simulator will be released later this Fall!
Real Estate Empire Simulator announced!
Updated Real Estate Empire Deck, now officially the beta version!